Subject Matter Competency

California Education Code requires that all candidates for a teaching credential must demonstrate they are proficient in the subject matter area of their intended credential.  Recent action by the Governor and the Legislature on AB 130 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021) has expanded the ways in which candidates may demonstrate subject matter competency.  

Prior to program admission, all CSULB candidates will participate in Mandatory Advisement with their subject area faculty advisor. During this advisement session a plan will be made for satisfying subject matter competency if not already completed. Candidates that have not completed subject matter competency at the time of program admission will be considered for provisional admission.  ALL candidates must satisfy subject matter competency prior to student teaching.  

Candidates that are currently in the program, are enrolled in EDSS 300 or are planning to pursue the Single Subject Credential Program at CSULB should consult the Single Subject Faculty Coordinator in their subject area for all questions related to subject matter competency. 

Subject Matter Competency (SMC) may be demonstrated through one of the following options: 

Completion of a subject matter program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. At CSULB, we have approved subject matter programs in the following areas: 

CSULB SSCP candidates that complete a CTC approved subject matter program at an institution other than CSULB, must submit an official subject matter verification letter with your Program Application. 

CSULB SSCP candidates that are completing the CSULB subject matter program may have coursework in progress at the time of the Student Teaching Application however, all coursework must be completed PRIOR to the beginning of the student teaching semester.  

Successful completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. For single subject credentials, a major in one of the exact subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates. Degree must be in an academic major that is an exact match to the title of the subject matter in the credential:   

  • Art  
  • English  
  • World Language (in any of the languages for which there is a credential)  
  • Health Science  
  • Mathematics, Applied Mathematics or Statistics
  • Music   
  • Physical Education  
  • Science 
    • For Biological Science: an academic degree major in Biology, Biological Science, Biological Engineering or Biochemistry
    • For Chemistry: an academic degree major in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Biochemistry
    • For Geoscience: an academic degree major in Geoscience, Geology or Earth Science
    • For Physics: and academic degree major in Physics, Applied Physics,Mechanical Engineering or Structural Engineering
    • For Foundational-Level Science: an academic degree major in any type of engineering or any degree major offered by a college or university science department.
  • Social Science  

Also acceptable: Applied majors (e.g., Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics) and exact majors in one of the single subject areas that may have additional modifiers (e.g., Biology: Environmental Biology; Art: Art History; and Physical Education: Kinesiology). 

Passage of a subject matter examination, the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET).

CSULB SSCP candidates using the CSET exam to satisfy SMC must PASS all subtests and submit official scores with the student teaching application by the appropriate deadline. Application submitted with pending scores will not be accepted. 

Successful completion of coursework at one or more regionally accredited institutions of higher education that addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential pursuant to Section 44282, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation. 

Listed Below are the CSULB Subject Areas with links to the required coursework to meet the subject matter domains as determined by Subject Area Faculty in each content area.

SMC may be met through a combination of coursework and CSET exams that meets or exceeds the subject matter domains. Candidates may have their transcripts evaluated to meet one or more of the CSET subtests if they have sufficient, qualifying coursework in the subject matter domains. See the Coursework domain section above for a list of coursework that meets each subtest of the appropriate CSET exam. 

CSULB SSCP candidates that are using a combination of coursework and CSET exams to satisfy SMC will need to submit proof of coursework evaluation and passing CSET scores for outstanding subtests with the student teaching application by the appropriate deadline. 

CSULB will provide subject matter evaluations to review transcripts for candidates that are not planning to complete their credential program at CSULB for a fee of $50. The Single Subject Credential  Program will evaluate transcripts for the CSULB Subject Matter Domains. See the section above titled "Coursework Aligned to the Subject Matter Domains" for the list of CSULB courses required to meet each of the domains. Candidates will be notified if their coursework meets all or part of the subject matter competency requirement for the specific subject area. CSULB evaluates transcripts for the areas listed below:  

  • Art
  • English  
  • Health Science 
  • Math
  • Foundational Level Math
  • Music  
  • Physical Education
  • Biology  
  • Chemistry 
  • Geoscience
  • Physics 
  • Foundational Level Science 
  • Social Science 
  • World Languages (ASL, Arabic, Filipino, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish, Vietnamese) 

To request an evaluation complete the following steps: 

Step 1: Complete a self evaluation using the list of required courses to meet the coursework Aligned to the Subject Matter Domains in the section above titled "Coursework Aligned to the Subject Matter Domains." If you feel that you meet all the required courses from the list for the subject area you are requesting, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Submit the following items to the CED Student Success & Advising Center in EED-32. 

  1. A completed Subject Matter Waiver Evaluation Request form (pdf)

  2. Official Transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended. Additional transcripts cannot be added after the evaluation request is submitted. (opened official transcript are acceptable as long as they are unmarked)

  3. $50 evaluation fee, cash or money order (personal checks are not accepted)

Evaluations typically take 6-8 weeks to complete (may take longer during summer and winter breaks). Candidates that meet subject matter will receive an official subject matter verification letter via DocuSign. Candidates that do not meet the subject matter requirements will receive an email with a list of CSULB courses needed to meet each domain/subtest. The Subject Matter Evaluation is final and not subject to debate. 

Mailing Address: 

CSU Long Beach 
Teacher Preparation Advising Center 
1250 Bellflower Blvd. EED-32 
Long Beach, CA 90840-2201 

Please note - If you will not be completing a CSULB Credential Program, the acceptance of the CSULB domain evaluation and verification is solely at the discretion of your Preliminary Credential Program Sponsor. Candidates are encouraged to speak to their program sponsor prior to requesting a CSULB evaluation.